You’ve renovated your kitchen and bathrooms, updated your floors, and applied fresh coats of paint to every wall. But what else can you do to increase your home’s value? We asked a handful of real estate experts for advice on how to go the extra mile to truly maximize what your house is worth—and attract more prospective buyers if you’re looking to sell.
#1 Create (the illusion of) more space
“I believe the biggest thing is to figure out ways to create more usable and livable space—or at least an illusion of the space being bigger than it actually is,” says Corcoran real estate agent Francis Akachukwu.
“For example, I purchased a semi-attached house in Brooklyn with an old-school heating system that included a 50-gallon water tank, a furnace, and a 270-gallon oil tank. It took up about two rooms in the basement and was not energy efficient,” he continues. So, he decided to rip it out and replace it with an eco-friendly tankless heating system, making room for a new home office and a laundry room with a utility sink. “It also saved costs by utilizing only one system for water and heating,” he notes.
#2 Minimize personal items
Be sure to clear away any soap dispensers, shampoo bottles, dish racks, and other unsightly items before offering tours or taking photos of its interior, advises Adisson Adair, a broker associate at Corcoran Perry & Co. “It helps the buyer see the finishes and space,” she explains.
It’s important to eliminate all clutter and ensure that every object has a place. “You want buyers to feel emotionally comfortable and at ease in a space and feel like everything in the apartment has a ‘home,’” says Sotheby’s Realtor Celeste Pandhi.
#3 Let the light in
“Open blinds and remove any heavy window coverings,” suggests Kelly Peterson of Century 21 Allpoints Realty. And don’t forget to change your lightbulbs, including the ones in the basement and garage, she adds.
#4 Organize your closets
“Clients will often improve on their closets with small updates to make their space more desirable to buyers,” says Serhant broker Tricia Lee. One common update is to install double-hanging rods, which make closets look more organized while actually doubling storage space. Adding a jewelry drawer to a closet with a lock or a shoe wall mount also helps, she says. “Creating more storage is a good trick that pays you back every time.”
#5 Elevate the little things
Small but meaningful additions go a long way. One smart investment? A microwave drawer: They’re space-saving, ergonomic, and “instantly make your home feel more luxurious,” Akachukwu says. Other easy improvements include buying better blinds, modernizing your kitchen cabinetry's hardware, and replacing your shower curtain with a glass door.
#6 Partially finish your basement
“No need to go all out and spend $100,000,” says Sal Ventre, principal broker at The Ventre Team. “Simply paint the open ceilings all black with a sprayer, and either paint or sheetrock the wall,” he suggests. Another tip: add area rugs. “It will give the appearance of a finished basement for just a few thousand,” he asserts.
#7 Replace carpeting
Old carpets can harbor allergens and contaminants. Get them tested by a professional to determine if they need to be replaced—and if they do, consider going with tile or laminate instead.
Per the experts at HGTV: "Hard-surface floors are much easier to keep clean, don't hold odors, give your home an updated look and, in general, are more appealing to buyers."
#8 Plant a Tree
A well-placed shade tree can up your home's curb appeal—not to mention cut your cooling costs by up to 40%.
#9 Add a cool design element
Like a sliding barn door: “Everyone loves them!” Ventre enthuses. Or apply a stone veneer to an accent wall—“It’s a cheap and easy way to immediately make your home appear more upgraded and boost value.”
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